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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Alvastia McKeller Jr., RB, Indianapolis

Alvestia McKeller Jr. is one of the most prolific D2 RBs at the University of Indianapolis who’s on pace for a near 5000 career rushing yards and perhaps a shot at the Harlon Hill Trophy. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I’ve had a smooth journey here at UIndy. Every class is no more than 5 minutes away, and everything switched over to online classes ever since the pandemic. My major is in Criminal Justice, my minor is in Psychology.

What do your teammates say is your best quality
My teammates would say that I’m a gamechanger and a dawg. I’m different, and they have 100% faith in me making plays on the football field.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m an every down back. There’s nothing I can’t do. I can also contribute as a pass catcher and blocker. I had a few snaps on special teams early on in my career, yet it wasn’t too long until I was the starting RB.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Tershawn Wharton went to Missouri S&T, and he’s currently playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the one who had the job of spying me throughout the game. We ended up talking to each other after our games and earned each other’s respect.

Matt Cole is another player that I saw as an opponent. He played WR for McKendree and is currently playing for the New York Jets. He’s a good special teams guy who’s pretty fast.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
There’s a lot of guys here that I can talk about. Toriano Clinton is another RB here who’s like a brother to me. He’s a good player that’s very coachable. We’ve helped each other out throughout the years.

Daveon Bell is an exciting game changer for us at WR. Most people underestimate him because of his size, but he’s one of the toughest guys on the football field, and he’s dangerous in space.

I have to give a shout out to my entire OL and the WRs. They always go hard on every play and are very unselfish. They block hard on every play and open holes for me to run through. They just get to work and never complain.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My recruitment wasn’t very fun. I was late getting picked up. Maybe it was my height or that the scouts didn’t stay until the second half of my games. I’ve embraced the undog mentality and want to prove to players that you don’t always have to go D1 to make it. I wanted to go to UIndy because they wanted me and gave me the chance to compete. I haven’t let them down since.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. It’s a fun sport to play and I like shooting. I ran a little bit of track in high school, but that was mostly to keep in shape for football. I was always committed to football.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of sticking through college. I’ll be the first male in my family to graduate.

I have a long list of accolades for my career that include being named first team all conference 3-times and being named an All-American. I’ve had over 3500 rushing yards and 42 TDs in my career. Yet, I’m really pushing towards obtaining that Harlon Hill Trophy this season. So, I’m putting everyone on notice.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
One of my most memorable moments was the first game of my career as a freshman against Grand Valley State. It was late in the game, and we were around mid-field. I was able to break out a 53-yard run for a TD that helped seal the win.

I also had a game against Missouri S&T where I leaped over the corner by the sideline. That was a big highlight.

Do you have a favorite athlete and/or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Being from Indianapolis, I’m a fan of the local teams like the Colts and Pacers. My favorite football player is Marshawn Lynch.. He plays how he wants to play and doesn’t change for anyone. He stays real to himself and never fakes it.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Some of my favorite music artists include guys like NBA Youngboy, Marcoo 5k, and Vj Guts. NBA Youngboy’s “Green Dot”, Marcoo 5k’s “Facts” and Vj Guts’ “Riding with the Gun” are some of the songs that I like to listen to before games.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Epic Ultra Lounge is a great place to go here in Indianapolis. Everything they have is fire. Their chicken, tacos and pizza are great.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is Little Giants. One of my favorite actors is Liam Neeson.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I have a Documentary on YouTube called “Born to Lose – Built to Win” that you can check out.

One of the reasons why I want to go by Alvestia now instead of just “Al” is that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to carry myself a different way. Alvestia comes from my father. I’m a junior.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
Football is something I’ve done since I was little. Football was a physical and more physical sport than basketball, and that’s what made me want to play it.

My biggest motivators are my baby brothers. They try and do everything I do. I want them to be on the right path, so I want to be a good role model for them.

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